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CPI.(Photo by: DR)
Business in Brief: November 16
Consumer Price Index rose 0.3%; investors turning to Halacha to prevent Sheshinski Committee recommendations.
Produce, clothing push CPI higher

By Globes correspondent

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in October, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Monday. Over the past 12 months, prices have risen 2.5%, near the upper limit of the government’s 1%-3% inflation target. So far in 2010, the CPI has risen 2.2%.

Items that drove the CPI higher in October were the price of fruits and vegetables, which rose 3.8%, and clothing prices, which rose 7.5%. Clothing prices rose as winter collections began to sell.

Givot Olam investors threaten revenge

By Globes correspondent

Does the answer to the danger of a steep rise in taxation on oil and gas discoveries lie with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef? According to the investors in Givot Olam Oil Exploration LP, the answer is yes, Ma’ariv reported Monday. Givot’s investors are planning various steps to prevent the recommendations of the Sheshinski Committee from being implemented, according to the report. The recommendations are designed to raise substantially the state’s share in the profits from oil and gas discoveries, at the expense of the investors in them.

David Weinberg, one of the main people behind the moves, has initiated an appeal to Rabbi Yosef to inform the public of the severe implications in Halacha of the government’s expected action.

“Is it permissible to change the tax regime after the investors have put in their money and invested in exploration and production in reliance on the existing regime?,” he asked, adding: “There is a Jewish concept of mi shepara, which is that a person who unilaterally withdraws from a commercial arrangement that has been agreed only informally and cannot be enforced by a court will face a curse and enforcement from heaven for failing to keep his word.”

Delek Energy chief slams gas tax

By Globes correspondent

Delek Energy Systems Ltd. CEO Gideon Tadmor on Monday slammed the Sheshinski Committee’s interim recommendations to raise the government’s share in revenue from oil and gas reserves to two-thirds from the current one-third. “The interim recommendations are the first of the Ten Plagues that the Sheshinski Committee will hit Israel’s citizens with,” he told Army Radio.

In response to a question why the oil and gas companies are furious about the recommendations, since in Western countries the government’s share of natural resources is higher, Tadmor said: “I reject the comparison. How is it possible to compare us with Norway or the US, where they have advanced infrastructures? How is it possible to compare us with Arab countries, where the state assumes part of the risk? This is an unprofessional comparison. Furthermore, the Israeli government made commitments, and now it’s withdrawing them.”
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